Feeds

Facebook pulls race-hate page

Updated: Vilification continues, site not pulled

High performance access to file storage

Facebook, whose legendary misogyny means that breast-feeding images posted by mothers are considered taboo and pulled as soon as they’re noticed, has managed to lurch into action and take down a race-hate page in Australia after a storm erupted on Twitter.

The page, which was called Aboriginal Memes, offered up a string of juvenile insults masquerading as humorous captions about alcoholism and petrol-sniffing pasted over images of Aborigines.

The race-hate site became the subject of a vigorous debate among Australian Twitter users after Crikey writer Bernard Keane observed that people liking the page included an un-named employee of State government agency Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Facebook had reportedly responded to complaints about the page with a boilerplate that it had been unable to confirm whether the page violated its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.

The page lasted long enough to attract mainstream media attention, with SBS asserting that the page had been active – and has attracted complaints – since June. SBS stated that the page appeared to be maintained by a 16-year-old in Perth.

The unwanted attention finally spurred The Social NetworkTM to act, however, and by 9.30pm last night (August 7, Sydney time) the site had been deleted.

Update: Vulture Eats Crow - When The Register posted this story just after 8:00AM Sydney time, two individuals including the author confirmed that the page was not responding. Well: it's back, much to the author's chagrin. It appears that The Register was deceived by an outage into believing that Facebook had done the right thing, when in fact it is still behaving pretty as it always has.

In the meantime, communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy has joined the chorus of critics, Change.org has launched a petition against the Facebook site, and various outlets are reporting that the page is self-classified as "comedy" to evade being classified as "race hate".

While The Register is not in favour of government censorship, the question doesn't arise in this case: Facebook users are subject to terms and conditions that exclude hate speech. It's regrettable that Facebook doesn't seem to agree. ®

Update: The "Aboriginal Memes" page is missing again, even to a logged-in Facebook user, at 8.20pm on August 8. After my last experience, I'm loth to declare the site "deleted", but we can hope. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.